Workers Compensation

Florida law requires employers that are not in the construction industry and have four or more employees, either full or part-time, to have workers compensation coverage for their employees.  In the construction industry, workers compensation coverage is required when there are one or more full or part-time employees.  Corporate officers are included in the definition of “employee.”

For employers engaged in the construction industry, up to three corporate officers or 3 members of a limited liability company (LLC) who own at least 10% of the corporation or company may exempt themselves from carrying workers compensation coverage.
Agricultural employers with have more than five regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal workers (employed for at least 30 days) are required to have coverage.

It is the employer’s responsibility to pay the premium for the workers compensation policy.  There are several ways to obtain a worker’s compensation policy such as:

– You can purchase the policy from an agent.

– The Florida Workers Compensation Joint Underwriting Association provides policies to businesses that are unable to obtain coverage in the private marketplace.

– Some businesses qualify to be self-insured.  For information on how to do this, contact the Division of Workers Compensation at www.fldfs.com/wc.

– You can contract with a professional employer organization that already has a policy in place.

Small steps can save you big on workers compensation premiums.  These include:

– Take the time and hire good employees.  Use a formal application process and always perform background checks in order to prevent hiring someone who had problems at other jobs.

– Try and make arrangements with a nearby medical facility to treat employees in case of an injury.  This can reduce confusion and minimize problems after an accident.

– Make sure independent contractors have their own workers compensation policies and request a copy for your records.

– Establish safety practices to ensure a better working environment.

Finally, when an incident does occur, report it immediately to your carrier.

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